Hugh Salmon, the former Lintas senior manager whose whistle-blowing
legal action against the Interpublic Group cost the communications giant
more than pounds 1 million, is launching his own agency.
He will take the majority stake in the fledgling Hugh Salmon &
The remainder will be held by his partner, the award-winning art
director, Anthony Stileman.
The start-up will open its doors with two clients - the pounds l million
billing Bahamas Tourist Office, which has pulled its business out of
Salmon’s former agency, Summerfield Wilmot Keene, and the wine merchant,
Balls Brothers of London, which runs a string of bars and restaurants in
the City and the West End.
Salmon’s go-it-alone move comes seven months after his resignation as
managing director of SWK following its acquisition by the 10 Group.
He joined SWK in November 1997, seven months after receiving a reported
pounds 500,000 from Interpublic as an out-of-court settlement of his
claim for punitive damages and malicious falsehood following his sacking
as managing director of CM Lintas in 1992.
’Starting my own agency shows I’m committed to the business and that I
have the guts to see it through,’ Salmon said. ’This should be easy
after what I’ve been through.’
Stileman, who has worked with Salmon on a number of freelance projects,
is currently negotiating his exit from the creative directorship of the
direct marketing specialist, Miller Bainbridge.
During an 18-year agency career spanning spells at Lowe Howard-Spink,
BMP DDB, Leagas Delaney and Young & Rubicam, he has partnered some of
the UK’s most well-known creatives including Patrick Collister and Neil
Patterson. He was a gold-award winner at Cannes in 1988 for his work on
’Anthony has massive enthusiasm for the business and an immense
commitment to good work,’ Salmon said.
The agency will operate from the London office of the media independent
Austin West, although it will have no preferred media partner.
Salmon said the agency would be looking to capitalise on the growing
number of UK clients falling victim to conflicts within multinational
agencies. He added: ’We’ll be charging for our ideas but not necessarily
for the implementation of them.’